Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is a server role that centralizes and automates the process of installing and tracking software updates released by Microsoft Update. Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) eliminates the hassle network managers would otherwise experience trying to distribute updates quickly and completely to every Windows server and workstation throughout a network. By ensuring that all systems in an organization are promptly updated with patches released through Microsoft Update, WSUS increases network security, reduces compatibility problems, and improves productivity.
Windows Server Update Services is a patch and update component of Windows Server and allows you to centralizer and automate the task of keeping systems current. WSUS consists of three major components that together provide a dependable solution for consistent and comprehensive updates:
WSUS allows network administrators to target updates to specific computers and groups and determine automatically whether updates are appropriate for each targeted computer prior to installation. WSUS permits IT managers to control patching and gives administrators the ability to assess and validate updates to ensure compatibility with application software before installing patches throughout the entire network. WSUS also supports the creation of custom groupings of computers, which can be helpful in evaluating updates. By deploying an update in a test group before distributing it throughout your production network, you can determine its impact before it can impair your production computers. This avoids unscheduled downtime and productivity loss.
- Microsoft Update: This web-based service is maintained by Microsoft and acts as the central distribution point for patches and updates.
- Windows Server Update Services server: This software is installed within the corporate firewall on a computer running Windows Server. By using a specialized administrative console installed on any computer within the domain, network managers can schedule and deploy the patches and updates retrieved from Microsoft Update. The WSUS server can also be utilized as a repository for patches and updates for distribution to additional WSUS servers located throughout an enterprise. It is only necessary for a single WSUS server to access Microsoft Update. This makes it easier for network managers to maintain the highest level of security without impeding the efficient distribution of updates.
- Automatic Updates: This client computer component is incorporated into Microsoft's server and client operating systems including Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2008, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7. Automatic Updates allows servers and clients to retrieve updates and patches either from Microsoft Update or from a server running WSUS.
WSUS includes a management console that makes it more efficient for network support staff to carry out the vital task of keeping computers current with key security patches. The automated patch distribution and tracking capabilities of WSUS give network managers more time to concentrate on the computers that may have problems with updates, instead of being overwhelmed by the routine task of a massive patch deployment throughout an organization.
Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 R2 include Windows PowerShell cmdlets that allow administrators to automate key day-to-day operations in WSUS. Progent offers expertise in PowerShell scripting and can provide as-needed online help so you can take full advantage of this important enhancement.
For networks with a large number of Windows servers, you can install the Software Update Point (SUP) role on a WSUS server and use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to create and distribute update packages and filters in order to restrict updates to defined maintenance periods to prevent update traffic from disrupting productivity. To learn more about SCCM and Progent's consulting services for planning and deploying this powerful change management platform, see System Center Configuration Manager consulting services.
You can also add a Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server to System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) in order to manage updates to the fabric of private clouds managed by SCVMM. For information about SCVMM and to learn about Progent's consulting services for creating and managing private clouds, visit System Center Virtual Machine Manager consulting services.
How Progent Can Help You with Windows Server Update Services
WSUS is a free software mechanism that requires some expertise for an optimal first-time setup, but that greatly simplifies subsequent patch management. Progent is a Microsoft Certified Partner and offers expertise in all aspects of server management in a Windows environment. Progent can help you with technical details of the initial setup of WSUS such as designing the WSUS deployment, setting up clients computers, configuring the Group Policy settings, and making sure your WSUS Group Policy object (GPO) is linked to an Active Directory container appropriate for your network environment.
To get immediate help with Windows Server Update Services, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.